Sunday, August 30, 2015

David Arquette Stars on Stage as Sherlock Holmes October 27 - November 8 2015 in Toronto & US Tour

Casting Update:

Casting Update:
James Maslow and Renee Olstead
to star opposite David Arquette in
Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes will be staged at The Ed Mirvish Theatre from Oct. 27 to Nov. 8 with performances Tuesday -Friday evenings at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. 
• On sale now, tickets range from $39.95 to $119.95 and are available online at and by phone at 1-800-461-3333.
• For additional information visit or

A new theatrical adventure and fresh take on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales, to be staged at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre from Oct. 27 to Nov. 8

Toronto ON: Producers at Starvox Entertainment and June Entertainment announced today James Maslow and Renne Olstead will join David Arquette on stage in Sherlock Holmes. Maslow, best known for playing the role of James Diamond in Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush, will star as the legendary Dr. John Watson and Olstead, who played Madison Cooperstein in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, will take on the role of the well-to-do-American, Lady Irene St. John.

Both actors will make their stage debut in this new, and original adaptation. Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales, penned by the late playwright Greg Kramer and directed by Andrew Shaver, Sherlock Holmes is scheduled to play Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria Street) from Oct. 27 to Nov. 8.

The eleven member acting company includes much of the original cast from the critically acclaimed Montreal Segal Centre production that premiered in May 2013, also directed by Shaver. Shaver will restage the show for a North American tour, launching a six-performance, “Tour Preview” engagement on Oct. 15 in Los Angeles, followed by additional runs in Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, with subsequent cities planned into 2016 to be announced shortly.

The cast includes Kyle Gatehouse as Professor Moriarty along with Patrick Costello, Graham Cuthbertson, Matt Gagnon, Barbara Gordon, Karl Graboshas, Trent Pardy and Amy Rutherford.

Original media release:

David Arquette to star on stage as
Sherlock Holmes 
In late Canadian playwright Greg Kramer’s version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales
October 27 – November 8, 2015
Toronto, ON | Ed Mirvish Theatre

Tickets on sale now at at

Other dates/venues:
October 15 – 18
Los Angeles, CA | Ricardo Montalban Theater
Tickets on Sale at August 31

November 17 – 22
Washington, DC | Warner Theatre
Tickets on Sale at August 31

November 23 – 29
Chicago, IL | Oriental Theatre
Tickets on Sale at and September 25

Toronto, ON –Starvox Entertainment announced today it has signed David Arquette (Scream, Friends) to play the title role in an original adaptation of Sherlock Holmes inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales by the late Canadian playwright, Greg Kramer. Sherlock Holmes premiered in Montreal in 2013 in a sold-out, critically acclaimed production at The Segal Centre directed by Andrew Shaver, who will remount the show for a North American tour, playing Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre from October 27 to November 8, 2015.

Joining Arquette in the nine person cast as the detective’s faithful associate and biographer Dr. John Watson, is rising star Michael Trevino, best known for his six seasons as Tyler Lockwood on television’s The Vampire Diaries and as the same character in the spin-off series The Originals.

"I am beyond excited to play one of the most loved characters in all literature, stage and screen,” says Arquette. “Some may think I'm an odd choice. I am. I'm odd but thankfully so is he."

The stage production of Sherlock Holmes was the recipient of five prestigious Montreal English Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director. The Segal Centre commissioned multi-talented, British-born Montreal-based writer, director and actor Kramer to pen this fresh new take on Conan Doyle’s stories of the legendary detective. The playwright was also supposed to play Scotland Yard detective Lestrade in the original Montreal production, but tragically, Kramer passed away on the eve of rehearsals.

Andrew Shaver, one of Canada’s most exciting young directors, known for his work with the innovative SideMart Theatrical Grocery (Trad, Haunted Hillbilly, Gordon) and assignments with Des McAnuff for the Stratford Festival, brings his ironic and kinesthetic vision to the production.

Produced by Starvox Entertainment in association with June Entertainment, Sherlock Holmes premiers in Toronto after a six-performance preview mounting in Los Angeles before kicking off a multi-city U.S. tour including stops in Washington, DC and Chicago, with subsequent cities planned into 2016.

“This production’s frequent laugh-out-loud, melodramatic mysteries and sometimes nightmarish moments proved irresistible, and I knew within ten minutes of the curtain going up that I wanted to produce the show for an extended commercial life after Montreal,” said Starvox producer Corey Ross. "The Steampunk costumes and brilliant set design -- featuring projections on metal scrims -- give the production a distinct modern edge, yet all the while, it remains quintessentially Sherlock Holmes. It’s both timeless and contemporary and audiences will enjoy the way it slyly hints at current events and today’s political culture."

Thrilling, humorous, full of head-scratching crimes and dazzling deduction in the face of cunning evil, Sherlock Holmes takes theatergoers on a heart-stopping adventure through the opium dens, the muddy docklands and the gritty backstreets of London during the turn of the century, a time of great social and technological change.

The opium wars have ended. The Ripper has wreaked his havoc. Electricity is on the rise and Scotland Yard is in its infancy. Lord Neville St. John gives a moving speech in the House of Lords to ban opium and a vote on the matter is imminent. Meanwhile, Professor James Moriarty, notorious criminal kingpin, plots to thwart the upcoming opium vote. When a drowned body is discovered, and Lord Neville goes missing, Scotland Yard turns to “the world’s only consulting detective” and newest resident of 221-B Baker Street:  a certain Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes will be staged at The Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria St.) from October 27 to November 8 with performances Tuesday – Friday evenings at 8:00 pm., Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Tickets range in price from $39.95 to $119.95 and are available online at beginning August 24.

Twitter: @Sherlocktour
Hashtag: #SherlockTO

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saxophonist & Composer Jon Irabagon Previews New CD Behind the Sky September 7 2015 at the Detroit Jazz Festival

From a media release:

Jon Irabagon Quartet
Monday, September 7, 2015 • 4:30pm • WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PYRAMID STAGE
Part of the Detroit Jazz Festival

Behind the Sky available for pre-order on Amazon UK

Saxophonist and composer Jon Irabagon previews his new CD Behind the Sky on Monday, September 7 at the Detroit Jazz Festival.  He's joined by pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and drummer Rudy Royston, all featured on the album.

Check out the full schedule for the Detroit Jazz Festival here
Check out Jon's website for NYC & other East Coast shows in September & October

Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, has performed extensively as both a sideman and as a leader in an ever-expanding range of projects. Jon has studied under such divergent artists as Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Oatts, Jason Moran and Victor Goines, and has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries such as Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Bright Eyes, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Kenny Washington, Lou Reed, and Jenny Lewis. Jon has performed and done clinics and workshops all over the world, and performs regularly in New York City's top venues such as Birdland, the Jazz Standard, and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola.

In 2012, Irabagon launched his own record label Irabbagast Records with two simultaneous releases, both follow-ups to previous albums: I Don´t Hear Nothin´ but the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze adds guitarist Mick Barr to the mix of Irabagon and Mike Pride and Outright!´s second album, Unhinged, features Ralph Alessi, Jacob Sacks, John Hebert and Tom Rainey along with several guests.

Behind the Sky marks Irabagon's eighth record as a leader, and features legendary trumpeter Tom Harrell. With Irabagon at his most straight-ahead, the CD's tunefulness and spirited, swinging attitude make it an ostensible follow-up to 2009's acclaimed The Observer (Concord Records). The CD will be released on September 15, 2015 on Irabbagast Records.  Also out that day is Irabagon's full-length experimental solo sopranino saxophone recording, Inaction Is An Action.

Preview the track One Wish:

UPDATE: Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal - Musique de Nuit (Six Degrees Records - September 4, 2015) - Pre-order Now & New Video

From a media release:

CD Release:
Midnight Music and Rooftop Freedom: Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal Deepen the Conversation on Musique de Nuit
(Six Degrees Records - September 4, 2015)

Check out the release announcement here

Musique de Nuit is available to pre-order:

Amazon Canada
Musique FNAC (France)
Amazon UK
iTunes (France)

Here's a taste - a new video featuring a track from the album called Passa Quatro:

PROOF by David Auburn on Stage at 4th Street Theatre New York City September 2-13 2015

From a media release:

by David Auburn
directed by Johanna Day
featuring Lolita Foster*, Nafessa Monroe*,
Alejandro Rodriguez*, and Count Stovall*

Strictly Limited Engagement
September 2 – September 13, 2015

Performances Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30 pm
4th Street Theatre - 83 East 4th Street, First Floor, NYC 10013
Tickets: $18 General admission

Click here to purchase tickets or
• visit and

Lolita Foster of Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) and Broadway veteran Count Stovall lead a multi-ethnic production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Obie winner and Tony Nominee, Johanna Day, directs.

NEW YORK CITY - Casting is now complete for Quick Silver Theater Company (QST) and Classics in Color’s (CIC) co-production of PROOF. Broadway veteran Count Stovall will play Robert. Lolita Foster (OITNB) will play Catherine. Nafeesa Monroe, co-producer of PROOF, will play Claire. Alejandro Rodriguez, QST core company member, will play Hal. Johanna Day – OBIE winner and Tony nominated for role in Broadway's PROOF - will make her directorial debut with this production.

QST intends to reveal a new perspective of this Pulitzer Prize winning play. Without altering the text in any way and casting PROOF with actors of color, a conversation is generated that speaks to the issues of gender and racial privilege in global mathematics programs.

Catherine, a young woman relegated to caring for her father who suffers from mental illness, doubts her own sanity when faced with questions surrounding a mathematical proof discovered in her possession. Has she inherited her father’s mathematical genius as well as his mental instability? All is brought to light in this sexy and intriguing mathematical journey.

The all-female creative team includes costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jennifer Reiser set designer Perrine Villemur and sound designer Iman Hinton.

Founded by Nefessa Monroe, Classics in Color is a theatre company committed to representing all colors on stage, especially in the classics. Through its work the company hopes to demystify the classics and create accessible theatre to which we all can relate. CIC wants all people to be able to see themselves on stage; to feel included.

The mission of Quick Silver Theater Company is to produce theater that invigorates, educates and generates conversations. QST will cast its productions with actors that reflect the community at large. In doing so, the playwright’s work will, in turn, connect with a much larger and more diverse audience. Quick Silver Theater Company was founded by Tyrone Mitchell Henderson and Lizan Mitchell. It is an ensemble company of thirteen theater artists based in the NYC Metro area.

For more information about the QST and CIC production of PROOF, contact Tyrone Henderson at (646) 505-8385 or Or visit the websites of either theater company: and

*Member Actors' Equity. 
This production is an Equity Approved Showcase.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tix Running Out for The Public Theater's New York Premiere of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira - Starring Lupita Nyong'o

From a media release:


Featuring Academy Award Winner
Lupita Nyong’o
Directed by Liesl Tommy

Performances Begin Tuesday, September 29 to November 8, 2015 For Strictly Limited Engagement

Get your tickets quick before they sell out!

NEW YORK CITY – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced that the New York premiere of ECLIPSED, written by Danai Gurira, has been added to the 2015-16 downtown season. Making her New York stage debut, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o will play “The Girl” in this powerful story of survival and resilience, directed by Obie Award winner Liesl Tommy. ECLIPSED begins previews at The Public Theater Tuesday, September 29 and runs through Sunday, November 8, with an official press opening on Wednesday, October 14.

“Danai Gurira has written a brilliant play, ripped from the headlines, that looks at the terrible conflicts in post-colonial Africa with an eye that is both incisive and deeply compassionate,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “A feminist reading of the Liberian Civil War, a war that was ended by women, Eclipsed is both heart-breaking and profoundly life-affirming. We are delighted to welcome the extraordinary Lupita Nyong’o to The Public in this vitally important play.”

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) comes to The Public in the New York premiere of ECLIPSED, the stunning, deeply moving play by award-winning Zimbabwean-American Playwright/Actress, Danai Gurira (co-author of In the Continuum and Michonne on AMC's hit series "The Walking Dead"). Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community – until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, ECLIPSED reveals distinct women who must discover their own means of survival in this deeply felt portrait of women finding and testing their own strength in a hostile world of horrors not of their own making. South African born Liesl Tommy (Appropriate and The Public’s The Good Negro) directs this magnificent story of survival and resilience.

Public Theater Member tickets can be accessed now. Single tickets, starting at $80, will be available beginning on Thursday, August 6. Tickets can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555,, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at Astor Place at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Joe’s Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city. Images features Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o & Liesl Tommy.

DANAI GURIRA (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and actress. As a playwright, her works include In the Continuum (Obie Award, Outer Critics Award, Helen Hayes Award), Eclipsed (NAACP Award; Helen Hayes Award: Best New Play; Connecticut Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Production of a Play), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Outer Critics Award). Gurira’s newest play Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2015 and will premiere in New York at Playwrights Horizons in February 2016. She is a recipient of the Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellow, and has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court. She is currently developing a pilot for HBO. As an actor, she has appeared in the films The Visitor, Mother of George, she also played Isabella in The Public’s Measure for Measure (Actor’s Equity Callaway Award). She currently plays “Michonne” on AMC’s The Walking Dead. She holds an MFA from Tisch, NYU. She is the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African Dramatic Artist.

LIESL TOMMY (Director) is an award winning international theater director whose work for The Public includes The Good Negro and The Urban Retreat (Public Studio). Her World premieres include A Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl and Todd Almond; Kid Victory by John Kander and Greg Pierce; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Party People by Universes, The White Man – A Complex Declaration of Love by Joan Rang; Peggy Picket Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig; Eclipsed by Danai Gurira; A History of Light by Eisa Davis; Angela’s Mixtape by Eisa Davis; Bus and Family Ties. Tommy’s additional credits include award-winning re-interpretations of Les Miserables, Hamlet, A Raisin in the Sun, Piano Lesson, and Ma Raney’s Black Bottom as well as a four-city tour of Ruined. She has worked at DTC, California Shakespeare Theater, Centerstage, Sundance East Africa, Berkeley Rep., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and Huntington Theatre Company, among others. Tommy is Associate Director at Berkeley Rep, serves as a Program Associate at Sundance Institute Theatre Program and as an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees. Tommy facilitated the inaugural Sundance East Africa Theater Director’s Lab in In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She’s earned an Obie award, Pioneer of the Arts Award, Lillian Hellman award, Alan Schneider award, the inaugural Susan Stroman Award, an NEA/TCG Directors Grant, and NYTW Casting/Directing Fellowship. She has taught or guest directed at Yale Rep, Juilliard, NYU, and Brown University. Tommy is an alum of Trinity Rep Conservatory and a native of Cape Town, South Africa.

LUPITA NYONG’O (The Girl) will next be seen in J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as the motion capture character “Maz Kanata”. The film will be released by Disney on December 18, 2015. She additionally just wrapped production in Uganda on Mira Nair’s The Queen of Katwe opposite David Oyelowo, and lends her voice to Jon Favreau’s upcoming Jungle Book as “Raksha,” set for release next April. Nyong’o made her feature debut in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which earned her the Academy Award and SAG Award for “Best Supporting Actress”. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama's acting program, Nyongo's stage credits include playing Perdita in The Winter's Tale (Yale Repertory Theater),Sonya in Uncle Vanya, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, as well as part of the cast in the original production of Michael Mitnick's Elijah.

Richard Nelson Reimagines American Roots Music on Deep River, a Suite For Boston's Aardvark Jazz Orchestra - September 8, 2015 on Heliotrope Records

From a media release:

Guitarist/Composer Richard Nelson Audaciously Reimagines American Roots Music on Deep River, a Suite For Boston's Adventurous Aardvark Jazz Orchestra
To Be Released September 8, 2015 on Heliotrope Records

CD Release Concerts:
* September 12 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME
* October 8 at Scullers, Boston

For many, becoming a parent alters the experience of time, shifting one's perspective inexorably toward the future. But for Maine-based guitarist/composer Richard Nelson, fatherhood set him on an epic journey into the past, where he found the raw materials and inspiration for Deep River, a singular jazz suite that reimagines and reclaims early 20th century American roots music. Conceived for Mark Harvey's Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, the inveterately inventive Boston ensemble in which Nelson has performed since the late 1980s, the album brings a 21st century improvisational aesthetic to the unvarnished and idiosyncratic folk forms of an American republic almost lost to living memory. His fourth and most ambitious album, Deep River is slated for release by Heliotrope Records on September 8, 2015.

Nelson traces the project's roots back about a decade, to gigs he started playing around Brunswick, Maine with his 12-year-old son Dan, who was smitten with voices found on Harry Smith's epochal Anthology of American Folk Music.  Artists like the Carolina Tar Heels and the Carter Family, and later figures such as Woody Guthrie and Doc Watson, inspired the young man and with Richard playing lead guitar and singing backup, they developed a repertoire of blues, stomps, bluegrass, and old-time fiddle tunes and ballads. The intensity of his son's concentration on this protean music opened a door to pieces like the Delmore Brothers' "Deep River Blues" as interpreted by Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt's beseeching rendition of "Make Me a Pallet on your Floor."

"I've been engaged with music across a wide stylistic spectrum my entire life, and here he was so passionate about this particular slice of it," Nelson says. "I was familiar with a lot of these pieces but playing them with my son meant I was living with them in a much more intense way than I would have otherwise. When the opportunity arose for me to do a large-scale piece for Aardvark, with vocalists, I saw that this was my chance to process this music through my own creative sensibility."

What's most impressive about Deep River is the way that Nelson keeps the original source recordings hovering in the background like a spectral presence while he conjures a vivid orchestral soundscape in the foreground.

The album's opening and closing tracks are based on tunes that Nelson performed with his son. Paying close attention to the contours of the plainspoken lyrics vocalist Marcia Gallagher brings a self-possessed, almost fatalistic presence to the molasses melancholy of "Deep River Blues." Bill Lowe's sumptuous, rumbling tuba provides the brass heft in the transitional movement "Transit," an ideal showcase for a jazz maestro of low-end frequencies.

jazz cd, american roots music, jazz guitarist, cd release
In another ingenious instrumental pairing, Nelson unleashes Peter Bloom's piquant piccolo on "Old Country Stomp," in place of the original recording's quills (rough-hewn panpipes), a theme that's later echoed by the ensemble. Inspired by a 1928 recording from the Harry Smith anthology by itinerant bluesman Henry "Ragtime Texas" Thomas, who died in obscurity but became a wellspring for folk revivalists and blues rockers decades later, Nelson's piece maintains the terpsichorean imperative of the original, with vocalist Timothy Johnson serving as the dance caller.

Nelson closes the album with "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor," a plaintive piece that features vocals by both Gallagher and Johnson, though the extended arrangement provides plenty of space for incisive improvisers like saxophonists Phil Scarff (on lustrous soprano) and Arni Cheatham (on searing alto). Nelson also steps forward with some beautifully calibrated guitar work, but ultimately Aardvark is his instrument. By inviting listeners into his boldly reconfigured vision of the old weird America he makes a compelling case that our nation maintains a bracing streak of strangeness.

"I can't really say that I had a model for this work," Nelson says. "There are of course American composers, such as Aaron Copland and Charles Ives, who have drawn on folk sources. But in reinterpreting these songs in a contemporary jazz setting I really felt like I was out there on my own. I just set about absorbing them as deeply as I could and then tried to let the material speak in a way that seemed inventive and organic."

Running through his entire career since settling in New England in the late 1980s is his relationship with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra.  Founded in 1973 by trumpeter and music director Mark Harvey, the band is known for wide-ranging repertoire featuring original works by Harvey, music of Duke Ellington, and diverse concerts spanning jazz, folk, popular and classical traditions.  Across its 40-year history, Aardvark has given premieres of more than 170 works for jazz orchestra by Mark Harvey and many other composers. The group appears on twelve CDs, including seven discs from Leo Records. Over the past quarter century Nelson has contributed several pieces to the band's book, while performing on all of their albums. A core member of the ensemble, he's maintained his affiliation with Aardvark since moving up to Maine and considers the band to be "a vital part of my creative pursuits." With Deep River, he's taken Aardvark into an uncharted realm where memories mix with portents and visions. Looking backwards and forwards simultaneously, Nelson creates a dialogue where sons invite fathers into the past in order to create sounds for the future.

Images by Joe Harrington & Emily Weir
An earlier version of Deep River Blues with his own ensemble:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Folk-Popster & ER Nurse DEREK OLIVE takes the David Suzuki’s BLUE DOT message across the country on a Cycling CD Release Tour

From a media release:

Folk-Popster & ER Nurse DEREK OLIVE takes the David Suzuki’s BLUE DOT message across the country on a Cycling CD Release Tour

WHEN:  Sat Aug 29, 8:00pm
WHERE:  Free Times, 320 College St, Toronto
TIX: $10 (proceeds for the Blue Dot)  

Sample/order the CD for $10
• Check out Derek's full tour schedule

What does a guitar, a bike and an olive have in common? This August singer songwriter Derek Olive embarks on a 10-city, 3000km music cycling tour in support of the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot movement. With a Masters in Music and as an Emergency Room nurse, Olive isn't just driven, he's pedal powered to make a change.

“For all I was trying to do in my daily life, compost, ride my bike year round, recycle, buy used, buy local, don't buy, I was feeling that all my choices didn't matter and all I could do was complain. I decided that I needed to take action beyond my daily life; I started planning a music cycling tour to support the Blue Dot movement”, Olive says.

• Learn about the Blue Dot Campaign

The core foundation of the Blue Dot movement is to recognize every Canadian’s right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, eat safe food and have a say in the decisions that impact their health and well-being. This growing movement of Canadians is calling upon all levels of government to fully recognize these fundamental rights through local declarations, bill of rights, and eventually an amendment to Canada’s Charter of Rights.

“I’m thrilled to see Derek take on this cross-Canada challenge in support of the Blue Dot movement. We’re grateful for this support and his personal commitment to share the Blue Dot message with even more Canadians”, states Sophika Kostyniuk from the David Suzuki Foundation.

Derek’s careers intersect seamlessly in the recording studio, hospital corridor and on the environmental troubadour’s trail. His new album Mystery & Dust is not only a celebration of life, but also a call to the urgency of making sound judgments in our lives. Sounds like a tall order, yet Mystery & Dust pulls us towards a better place, recognizing we all can and must do our part, from our little corner of the world, shaking a little dust off with a quality of music that cuts to the heart of the matter.

Folk-popster Olive’s originals are stylistically reminiscent of Bruce Cockburn, Stephen Fearing, Dave Matthews, if not a hint of Van the Man, Himself. The song “Inventing the Sun” came to light during a bike ride, inspired by the tiniest of plants defiantly bursting through highway cement. As paradoxically resilient as nature can be, it is the other, fragile side of that very same coin that Olive illuminates, as showcased brilliantly in the hypnotic and highly percussive string work on the lead track, “Paper Wings”.

Olive’s arresting lyrics are brought more to the fore by his buoyant vocals and the superb assistance from compatriots Joe Grass (mandolin), Zoé Dumais (violin), Kevin Warren (drums/engineer), Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and Sébastien Pellerin (acoustic bass). The mandolin and banjo-peppered title track – a duet with Annabelle Chvostek (of Wailin’ Jennys fame) and a full chorus – seems a ‘thank you’ for our place in the world, small as we are.

There’s no second guessing on this album or the Blue Dot movement—like the decisions made in the ER, the songs and message are borne of immediacy, bent on making a difference and a real connection, while serving up some hope along the way.

• Watch the video and then download the free track

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New York City Funk: Shakey Tables Release Video for 'I Like Your Shoes'

From a media release:

New York City Funk: 
Shakey Tables Release Video for 'I Like Your Shoes'

Buy the CD

NYC funk rock stalwarts The Shakey Tables have just released the video for 'I Like Your Shoes' - a fun, campy take on the usual girl meets boy story. With their roots deep in funk and soul, The Shakey Tables have quickly grown into an ambitious band whose music defies labeling.

Forming in 2013 around lead singer/songwriter Jaclyn Dima’s music, the band evolved into creating a sound all its own. By 2014, they had refined their classy three-part harmonies and high-energy, funked-out rhythm section and were being touted by local press as a hybrid of The Supremes and Red Hot Chili Peppers. While becoming known for their female-fronted, upbeat performances in and around NYC, The Shakey Tables remained steadfast at their usual haunts: Rockwood Music Hall, Bowery Electric and Arlene’s Grocery. They also found time to give back by hosting events for charity organizations such as New York Cares and raising funds for music education.

Last year the group recorded their debut album, A Shakey Table Situation, at Galaxy Smith Studios with producer Dave Brandwein, the bandleader of super funky 11-piece Turkuaz. The resulting record succeeds at presenting a fresh approach to funk that fuses influences of Motown, 50s rock, and even big band and hip hop. Add in a three-part horn section and The Shakey Tables ultimately serve up a unique, impressive style with pop appeal.

For those who prefer music with infectious melodies and harmonies, The Shakey Tables’ undoubtedly fun and sexy vibes are waiting.

Shakey Tables are: Jaclyn Dima, Charles Becker, Mike Graves, Ruth Harke, Andi Rae Healy

Monday, August 3, 2015

Joel Johnson Blues Band at the Kitchener Blues Festival August 8th 2015

From a media release:

Just wanted to mention that FB Friend Dwayne Laforme plays guitar with this hard hitting blues band - a phenomenal musician with his own band

Joel Johnson Blues Band at the Kitchener Blues Festival
August 8th 2015 

12:00pm - 1:00pm at the Clock Tower tent stage
3pm at the BB KING tribute at Cork Hall by McCabes
10:30pm at Bobby O'Briens

• Check out the Kitchener Blues Festival's full line-up, including legends Mavis Staples, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, David Wilcox & More - August 6 to 9, 2015

Joel Johnson is soon becoming a household name when it comes to blues in North America. Joel Johnson is an award winning and highly acclaimed blues guitarist from the Six Nations and has won a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for best blues album of the year.

A former member of the band Blues House Hustlers, Johnson won for his debut solo album, Blues Joose Vol. 1, which was recorded by Duke Foster at Hamilton’s Catharine North Studio. Johnson was also nominated for best male artist and single of the year, two of another 11 categories that will be announced Friday night during an awards show and concert at Hamilton Place.

2010 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards winner for Best Blues Album, Best Song Single and nominated for Best Male Artist. Also nominated for Blues Recording of the Year at the 2010 Hamilton Music Awards, Joel Johnson packs some hard hitting blues on his solo debut album Blues Joose Vol. 1. From Six Nations Ontario Canada, this blues man’s journey started at the young age of 7. Sharing the stage with many well known blues musicians such as Jack De Keyzer and the late great Mel Brown. 2008 nominee and winner with former band for Best Blues Album at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Writing and recording Blues Joose Vol. 1 all by himself, he dedicated the album to his best friend and one of many mentors Paul “Joose” Mitten. What to expect when listening is a mix of blues, swing, delta slide, funk, boogie and rock.

The Joel Johnson Band competed in the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN and played at BB Kings Blues Club on Beale Street not once but twice. They represented the Grand River Blues Society in the competition and were also chosen to represent Canada at the Fedex International Showcase.

Latin Alternative: Pacha Massive New Album ‘Where We Come From’ - July 31, 2015 - Nacional Records

From a media release:

Pacha Massive New Album ‘Where We Come From’ 
Out on July 31, 2015 - Nacional Records
The NYC-Based Band Pioneered a Style That Fuses Spanish and English

Buy the Album

Pacha Massive is New York City in a nutshell—where every street corner is a meeting of cultures, stories, and sounds. We’re excited to announce the release of their stunning new album, ‘Where We Come From’ on July 31.

Pacha Massive was founded by Nova. Those beautiful vocals you hear interwoven throughout many of the songs is Patricia Lynn. Upon the release of Pacha's previous album, ‘If You Want It,’ The New York Post summed up the band's uniqueness perfectly: “If fusion is the future of music, then Nova, founder of Pacha Massive, is ahead of the game with his bilingual fusion of electronica and Latin rhythms.”

Pacha Massive has been hailed since their beginnings for their seamless use of bilingualism which, in turn, has lead them to connect with audiences across the country and the world. Pacha Massive has been praised by everyone from Billboard to MTV to KUT to KEXP, and has appeared on numerous tv shows and the popular FIFA video games.

Along with their fluid interweaving of the English and Spanish languages, Pacha Massive has been praised for their unique fusion of electronic beats with traditional Caribbean rhythms (influenced by Nova’s upbringing in the Domincan Republic). ‘Where We Come From’ maintains many of Pacha Massive’s emblematic qualities, while offering a distinct maturation of the sound. The album was influenced by a collection of personal experiences and interesting characters that Nova crossed paths with over the last couple of years. It was recorded mainly in NYC, with additional recording in Houston and the Dominican Republic. The album features stellar collaborations from Los Rakas, Sophy Encanto (Elastic Bond), and Natalia Clavier.

As Paty says, “To finally release the new Pacha Massive album is a relief and a thrill,” and we hope it’ll be that for all of you.

Pacha Massive performs "All Good Things" for... by plumpbobolink

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Experimental Rock Icon Geen Ween Returns to Toronto October 6 2015 at the Horseshoe

From a media release:

Horseshoe Tavern - October 6, 2015


Toronto - Toronto Downtown Jazz and The Other Operation present Aaron Freeman as he returns to the Toronto stage on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at the Horseshoe Tavern, bringing back the eponymous Gene Ween, made famous as one half of the popular band, Ween. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 31, at or by calling 1.888.655.9090 FREE.

For nearly 30 years, Freeman led one of experimental rock's greatest genre-hoppers as Ween tackled everything from funk to country and reggae to Irish ballads. Since disbanding the legendary group in 2012, Freeman has reinvented his career, first, releasing a solo album, Marvelous Clouds, in 2012 and created a new band, Freeman, in 2014.

Backed by a four-piece band with material ranging from Freeman's solo work to pieces from the Ween catalogue, he returns this fall performing a variety of hits for one special night.

Gene Ween
The Horseshoe - 370 Queen Street West
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Doors - 8:30 p.m.
$22 advance - plus service charges
Tickets available at or by calling 1.888.655.9090 FREE

Image credit: "Flickr - moses namkung - Ween 1" by Moses - Ween 1. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -